If you want to save money on groceries, you are here at the right place. This year, it seems like the grocery prices are spiraling out of control.
Here are some useful and attainable tips that will help you save money on your grocery bills this year. There is a great chance that you might already know some of these tips – but sometimes, we need a reminder of what we already know.
Here is what you need to know.
Follow a Meal Plan
A meal plan is a very easy and simple way to control your groceries expenses. For those who aren’t familiar with meal plans, you should know that you need to keep it simple. You don’t have to go fancy with your meal plans and add appetizers and desserts.
All you need to do is to jot down the basic meals for the day – seven days a week. Sometimes the simplest meals with the fewest ingredients do taste the best, such as pasta and pasta sauce. This meal is simple, fulfilling, and has only two ingredients.
With a meal plan, you will be reaping other benefits too. For instance, you will be saving time deciding what you eat every day as you will have your entire meal plan for the entire week. You will also curb the need to eat out or order in as you will know what you must make every day.
While making a meal plan, you will want to check your fridge and pantry for the ingredients that you already have so that you don’t re-buy items from the grocery store. You will want to remember that the objective of having a meal plan in the first place is to save money on your groceries this year.
So, the success of your meal plan depends on your ability to stick to it – no matter what. Otherwise, you will end up wasting meals and groceries, two things you want to avoid at all costs.
And, of course, you will have leftovers. You can use Saturdays as a leftover day so that no food is wasted. You get the point – you will want to go ahead and write a meal plan and then execute the meal plan. Rest assured; you will be amazed at how much money you will save.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget and saying a number out into the universe without ever following it is one thing. That said, if you are giving yourself a dollar amount, you will want to stick to that dollar amount. The key to sticking to a budget is disciplining oneself and simply sticking to it.
When it comes to setting a budget, you will want to avoid a common mistake that many people make, which is the mistake of setting up a budget with the leftover money after they have paid their bills and bought things that they don’t need.
The key to setting up a successful budget is to pay yourself first and then proceed to pay your bills and set aside a dedicated amount for your weekly and monthly budget. You will want to make a smart decision for your savings by sending a fixed amount of money to your savings account and not using it for anything else – but for emergencies.
When it comes to your weekly groceries, you must also stick to a budget. The thing is that with a budget, you will know that you will only be buying the absolute necessities. You will also be more likely to read the food labels and make better and more informed choices for yourself and your family.
You will know that you are strictly sticking to the list that you have prepared in advance and only buying the mandatory things. You will be ignoring the cheesecake and the lobster in the tank and, instead, go to the aisles that have the things that you need for your meal plan.
With a budget, you will tend to stick to your list and meal plan when you have a self-imposed budget you are trying to model after. If you are creating a budget and not sticking to it, then what are you even doing at all?
Sometimes, when you are on a tight budget, you will have to look for cheaper alternatives. For instance, on those days when you won’t be cooking meat, you can opt for cheaper alternatives to protein, such as beans and legumes.
Benefit from the Sales
If you want to save money and make smarter shopping decisions, then you will want to shop the sales. And when we say sales, we are referring to the more expensive grocery stores that usually run weekly ads. You can find their sales on your smartphone and use the internet to see what they are selling for cheap.
If you are more likely to get distracted by flashy items and other sections of the grocery store, then you will find solace in shopping online. Sometimes, when we are on a budget, it is better to opt for online groceries instead of physically visiting the store.
When shopping online for your groceries, you can also compare the price list for different items and see which online grocery store is selling the same items for cheaper and where you will be able to save the most money.
By doing your research, you can find great deals when items are on sale. And it doesn’t even if you have to get different items from different grocery stores – if it is worth driving the extra mile, then so shall it be. You can benefit from sales by saving loads of money on a huge pile of produce that you would have otherwise gotten for expensive.
If you have never shopped from sales, then you will want to start doing it now by incorporating it into your shopping. Just focus on getting the deals and always opt for the cheaper grocery stores for the bulk of your shopping.
You will also want to eat budget-friendly foods.